All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an editor at Food Network, now living in New York City after being born and raised in the great state of Michigan. She likes her eggs runny, her pasta cheesy and has been known to throw back dozens of oysters at a time.

Join Us at the 2015 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, February 18th, 2015

2015 South Beach Wine & Food FestivalIt’s that time of year when cabin fever has hit, and surely there’s no better remedy than a few days of sun, sand and celebration at the 14th annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Beginning tomorrow, your favorite Food Network chefs will come together in Miami for a jam-packed weekend of all-star events, including late-night tastings, intimate dinners and culinary demos, while mixing and mingling with fans.

If you’re not a local Floridian, you can still keep up with the action at SOBEWFF. FN Dish editors will be at the festival all weekend long, attending premiere events with Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri, Alex Guarnaschelli and Rachael Ray, and munching on the best bites up for grabs. And best of all, you’re invited to check out our insider coverage of what’s going down. Keep coming back here for daily reports on the top moments and the most craveworthy dishes and drinks.

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Giada’s Linguini with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Lemon — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 16th, 2015

Linguini with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and LemonSuccessful and satisfying dinners don’t have to require many ingredients or take a lot of time to prepare. In fact, some of the most tried-and-true standbys come together in mere minutes with everyday essentials from the pantry, including crowd-pleasing pastas. Just a box of noodles and a fuss-free sauce are all it takes to pull off tonight’s family meal, and when you use Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe for Linguini with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Lemon (pictured above), you don’t even have to cook the sauce.

Ready to eat in only 17 minutes, Giada’s bold pasta stars a raw sauce of rich, chewy sun-dried tomatoes, tangy green olives and plenty of fresh basil. For easy prep, she opts to whirl these go-to fixings in the food processor alongside a squeeze of lemon juice for brightness and a heavy handful of nutty Parmesan cheese. There’s no need to cook the sauce, as the heat of the just-drained pasta will gently warm the tomato mixture as they’re combined.

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5 Ways to Turn Your Kitchen Into the French Quarter for Mardi Gras

by in Recipes, February 16th, 2015

Monster MuffalettaMardi Gras, Fat Tuesday — no matter what you call it, tomorrow’s all about indulgent, no-holds-barred eats, drinks and celebrations, especially in New Orleans, where Mardi Gras takes on an over-the-top culture all its own. If you can’t make it to the French Quarter to take part in the annual parades or dress up in the signature purple, green and gold colors, bring a taste of the experience into your kitchen wherever you are by recreating classic NOLA-style classics right at home.

Piled high with layers of Italian deli meats and cheeses and a hearty layer of briny, tangy olive-pepper salad, Jeff Mauro’s Monster Muffaletta (pictured above) serves as a hearty base in your stomach to soak up whatever it is you’ll be drinking all day. But perhaps best of all, this big-batch sandwich is a no-cook standby that can be assembled and ready to eat in only 10 quick minutes.

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Back in the Winner’s Circle: Anne Burrell Dishes on Her Worst Cooks Victory

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, February 16th, 2015

Anne Burrell and Kristen RedmondAfter a three-season winning streak, Worst Cooks in America‘s Red Team coach, Anne Burrell, suffered two back-to-back losses, but just last night she reclaimed her victorious title in a nail-biting finale. “It feels like I’ve been restored to my correct position,” she told FN Dish in an exclusive interview. The veteran mentor spent seven weeks at Boot Camp with her team of recruits, detailing the beginner how-tos of the kitchen and building confidence within the novice cooks, and ultimately her mentee Kristen Redmond proved just how much she’s learned from Anne in a cook-off against the Blue Team’s Genique Freeman.

Read on below to hear more from Anne as she dishes on the finale, shares her proudest moment as a mentor and gives must-know kitchen tips for Worst Cooks fans at home.

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You “Will Eventually Learn to Just Laugh” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, February 15th, 2015

Cutthroat Kitchen isn’t for the faint of heart, that’s for sure, and Anne Burrell learned that the hard way when she took her place in the arena as a competitor in the Superstar Sabotage tournament a few months ago. But on tonight’s all-new episode, she experienced the contest from a judge’s perspective as she guest-starred in this particularly evilicious battle.

A Round 2 sabotage forced Chef Ventura to dictate to Chef Emily how he wanted his food to be prepared, though he couldn’t see what she was doing because there was a wall between them, and vice versa. So when it came time for Anne to judge the competitors’ taco offerings, she judged Chef Ventura’s on a taco that was ultimately prepared by Chef Emily — and, again, vice versa. “She wildly underseasoned it,” Anne said of Chef Emily’s preparation of Chef Ventura’s taco. And, sure enough, Anne found Chef Emily’s dish to be “delicious,” though of course it was prepared by Chef Ventura.

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Cheesecake-Cookie Mash-Up Wins the Course in the Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 15th, 2015

New York Cheesecake CookiesJust when you thought there was no way to improve upon the rich, creamy texture of classic cheesecake or the buttery flavor of a moist cookie, Sandra Lee creates a craveworthy dessert mash-up that brings both treats to new levels of indulgence. These easy-to-make bites feature all of the fixings of traditional cheesecake, like graham cracker crumbs and a soft, decadent filling, but the simplicity of an eat-with-your-hands cookie.

For more dessert inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Bake! board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: New York Cheesecake Cookies (pictured above)

Don’t Skip It, Pack It: 6 Ways to Take Your Breakfast on the Go

by in Recipes, February 14th, 2015

Don't Skip It, Pack It: 6 Ways to Take Your Breakfast on the GoFrom homemade gravlax to indulgent huevos rancheros, The Kitchen‘s Rise and Shine episode was all about breakfast this morning, and while it’s often called the most-important meal of the day, for better or worse, some days simply don’t allow for a long, leisurely morning meal. But that doesn’t mean you have to forgo breakfast altogether; the key is to look to ready-to-go dishes that are both quick to prepare and easy to pack. Read on below for wake-up-worthy inspiration from Alton Brown, The Pioneer Woman and more of your favorite chefs.

Ree Drummond keeps it classic in her Breakfast of Champions Sandwich, built on buttery English muffins and griddled with thinly sliced ham, gooey just-melted cheese and an egg. “Immediately wrap them in a foil bag to lock in the heat,” Ree advises of packing up these sandwiches for on-the-go eating.

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Restaurant Revisited: Dog-and-Pony Show at Dog & Pony Ale House

by in Shows, February 11th, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleAt Dog & Pony Ale House in Renton, Wash., the issue wasn’t that the food was poor — Robert Irvine, in fact, was surprisingly pleased with it — but rather that owner Kristen Fisher was mismanaging her business. This too-nice owner had all but given herself and the control of her eatery over to a select group of customers who were adamant that she make changes to the equipment and menu at Dog & Pony, and ultimately her willingness to concede and her struggles with trusting her staff led her to become buried in debt. With the help of Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team, however, Kristen learned top tips for running her restaurant, and within only two days reopened the doors at Dog & Pony, a business worthy of a second chance at success.

“For December there has been a 45 percent increase in sales,” Kristen says of the finances at her business, adding that most diners’ reviews of the updates at Dog & Pony are largely “very positive.” She explains, “We are definitely listening to all the feedback and making changes that will make all our customers happy.  We have brought back some of the things that the customers loved but are keeping the menu to one page, streamlined and running specials.”

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Go Behind the Scenes: Take a Photo Tour of the Cutthroat Kitchen Set

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, February 11th, 2015

While Cutthroat Kitchen may serve as home to Food Network’s most-diabolical cooking arena, it’s also a fully functional and well-outfitted kitchen, brimming with hundreds of ingredients, dozens of pots and pans, and enough tools and equipment to arm four chefs in battle — plus a single briefcase filled with $100,000, of course. Recently FN Dish traveled to the set of Cutthroat Kitchen for an insider’s look at what makes the space so special, including its close-quartered pantry, wall-to-wall shelves of gear and the chalkboard full of evilicious inspiration. We also caught up with Katie Allen, the show’s culinary producer, who’s responsible for equipping the kitchen, and she dished that during each week of filming, her team accepts a delivery of “43 boxes of vegetables, fruits and herbs,” and that’s just for the fresh produce. When it comes to food prep, there are some “86 pots and pans available on set”; for plating, no fewer than “27 varieties of plates, 16 varieties of bowls, 9 different types of glasses, and 21 different types of small dipping bowls, plates and spoon options” are available to the chefs during the contest.

Click the photo below to check out a behind-the-scenes photo tour of the set and peek inside the refrigerator, and look up close at the myriad ingredients, serving pieces, tools and utensils at the ready in each battle.

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9 Best Ways to Simmer, Sandwich and Serve Meatballs (That Don’t Involve Spaghetti)

by in Recipes, February 10th, 2015

9 Best Ways to Simmer, Sandwich and Serve Meatballs (That Don't Involve Spaghetti)Sure, spaghetti and meatballs go together like bread and butter, but these beefy rounds don’t have to be confined to Italian cooking — or even to beef. The beauty of the meatball is that (almost) anything goes: Pork, chicken, turkey and vegetables? They’re are all go-to fillings, too, and when it comes to flavors and serving options, you’re limited only by creativity, from Asian-inspired and barbecue sauce toppings to gooey cheese fillings and taco stuffings. Read on below for the best-ever takes on meatball madness beyond the traditional pasta pairing.

When Pepperoni Won’t Cut It: Rachael Ray crumbles ground sirloin into large chunks that resemble meatballs in her quick-fix recipe for Mega Meatball Pizza. Since she starts with store-bought pizza dough, this family-friendly pie, blanketed in stretchy mozzarella cheese, can be on the table in just over 30 minutes.

When You Don’t Want to Choose: Who says you can’t have it all? Food Network Magazine’s Chipotle Chicken Meatball Tacos prove that you can indeed enjoy the best of a culinary mash-up. Here meatballs take on a Mexican flavor after simmering in a hearty sauce of smoky chipotle peppers and jalapeno.

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